Hotmail Inbox - access your email messages
When you log in to your account using the Hotmail sign in page you would get either the Hotmail Inbox (list of our emails) or the MSN Today page which is a splash page with the latest news links and images. If you get this page, you need to click on the "Inbox" link near the top left to be taken to your email account. By the way, for future logins, you can jump straight to the inbox skipping the MSN Today page by getting rid of it by changing the Hotmail settings and options.
List of emails in your Hotmail inbox
Assuming you were able to get to the inbox, you shall see the list of emails in your Hotmail account. The latest emails are, by default, shown at the top. If you have new unread messages, they will appear in bold and the inbox folder name will also be in bold with the number of unread messages in parenthesis beside it.
Each email message is listed with three small pieces of information in your Hotmail inbox - the sender's email address/name, the email subject and the date/time at which the message arrived at your account. A little box in front of the email allows you to select the message.
Reading emails in Hotmail
Clicking on the email will result in the page reloading to display the complete message. Email attachments will be listed just above the main contents and any images that were sent with the email will be shown right in the browser window. To reply or forward the email, use the helpful links at the top. You can also move the message to a specific folder using "Move to" options from the menu bar. No further use for the message? Clicking on the "Delete" link will send it to the "Deleted" items folder. If the email appeared to be junk (spam or phishing scam), I suggest you mark it such with the "Junk" link instead of simply deleting the email. By the way, you don't necessarily need to view an email to chuck it in the junk folder; you can do the same directly from the inbox by selecting it and hitting the Junk link.
Sorting email messages in your Hotmail inbox
As mentioned above, by default, the latest emails that arrive at your inbox are displayed at the very top. You can change this order using the "Sort by" menu and arrange the messages based on the date received, sender's email/name, the email subject line, the size or whether the message has an attachment. Hit the "Sort by" link and select an option.
Selecting emails in Hotmail
Each email message displayed in the Inbox list has a small checkbox in front. Clicking on it would select the email message. Also to select all emails displayed on the page, click on the checkbox to the left of the "Sort By" link.
Hotmail junk email filter - automated filtering
Hotmail, like most online email services, offers an automated junk email filter whose main function is to weed out junk- spam, phishing scams and all unnecessary and unsolicited messages - from your inbox and send them to the "Junk" folder. The filter works on a community effort and is liable to err. Thus, certain junk emails can escape and land in the inbox and sometimes legitimate messages would be pushed into the Junk folder. If you were a expecting an email but cannot find it in your inbox, it's likely that it's been caught by the filter and sent to the Junk folder. If so, I suggest you visit the folder, select the message and mark it as not junk. By the way, I also recommend labelling suspicious spam and phishing scams as junk rather than simply deleting them.
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Page contents: Hotmail inbox access - free email service from Microsoft that comes with some great features and an intuitive interface.
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